This Curried Bulgur from Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything (“The first one. The yellow one, with the fat Bittman,” Michelle said) makes a nice base for a bunch of lunches. One of our household staples is a jar of curry powder, because even though we take what many consider ridiculous steps with food (Steve was recently mocked for wondering if he could make his own analog to cheap canned crescent rolls for pigs-in-blankets), we see true Indian spice prep as a Himalaya we are not yet prepared to climb. Bulgur, carrots, stock, slivered almonds, currants and a few other Gourmandistan household staples go together in a snappy, sweet and crunchy pile that’s perfect with a runny bit of olive oil-fried egg on top.
In our opinion, everybody but the gluten-avoiding should keep some bulgur around the house. The wheat cereal has a nutty, rich flavor that can stand in for rice or barley. It supposedly has all sorts of health benefits, but we like it more for its quick cooking time. After all, even we who dream of becoming our own Poppin’ Fresh need a quick meal every so often.
CURRIED BULGUR WITH NUTS, CARROTS & CURRANTS
(adapted from Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything) (serves 4)
- 2 TB olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 TB curry powder
- 1 c. medium-grind bulgur
- 2 large carrots, peeled and finely chopped
- 1-3/4 c. chicken or vegetable stock
- 1/4 c. currants or raisins
- 1/2 c. frozen peas
- 1/4 c. blanched slivered almonds, toasted
- Salt and pepper to taste
Place the oil in a medium skillet (one that has a lid) over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally until caramelized. Add the curry powder and continue to cook for another minute or so, then stir in the bulgur and coat the grain with the oil. Stir in the carrots. Add the stock and currants, cover and cook over low heat for 10 more minutes. Turn off the heat, add the peas and let the covered pan sit for 15 minutes more. Uncover, stir in the toasted almonds, and season with salt and pepper. Serve as a side dish. Or, make a more substantial main by topping with an egg fried over easy in olive oil.